Scott Baker, a sophomore pitcher on the Ball State baseball team, has been named the Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year as selected by the league’s head coaches.
Baker tallied his 11th win of the season and improved to 11-1 with a five-hit, complete game win over Northern Illinois May 16. He earned his 10th win after limiting Toledo, who entered the game leading the MAC with a .290 batting average, to a .100 hitting mark in a 4-0 complete game shutout victory May 10.
Baker, who suffered his only defeat of the season in a 1-0 complete game loss at Miami University, owns a 1.63 earned-run average on the season.
Baker’s second victory of the year was at Lipscomb, which was the 600th career win for head coach Rich Maloney. His win at Western Michigan April 6, marked the 300th conference win in Maloney’s career.
Baker has struck out 80 batters in 99.1 innings and allowed only 18 earned runs. Opponents are hitting only .218 against Baker, and he owns a 6-1 conference record with a 1.58 ERA in league games.
Baker ranks fifth in the nation in pitching victories. He is 15th in the nation in complete games (5), 21st in ERA (1.63), 47th in strikeouts per inning (9.35) and 86th in strikeouts (80). Baker and Chris Marangon are tied for 14th nationally in games started with 14 apiece.
Baker is the third Ball State pitcher to ever receive the award. Erik Morrison received the honor after the 2005 season, while Bryan Bullington won the award after the 2001 and 2002 campaigns.
The Cardinals will open play in the 2013 MAC Tournament Wednesday at 9 a.m. as the No. 4 seed and will face the fifth-seeded Miami University Red Hawks.